MA Fine Art alumnus Kye Wilson from the School of Art, Design and Performance has recently received funding from Arts Council England for his project Empathy Machine.

Empathy Machine is a research and development project that will advance Kye’s art practice by exploring Virtual Reality (VR) as an art form, as opposed to using it as only as an emerging technological tool. His research will involve visiting VR professionals and organisations in England and abroad, and attending a number of events and festivals that focus on and showcase innovative VR and media arts. This will enable Kye to network and initiate potential collaborations with artists, academics and technologists.

The alumnus from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries believes this project will enable him to find new models for engaging immersive experiences that blur the boundaries of the real and virtual, challenging audiences through form and content.

Empathy Machine will enhance my profile as an artist creating works that intersect art and technology by reaching new people within the VR industry, whilst attaining a greater understanding of this field.

The aim of Kye’s research is to explore the involvement of new technology in people’s lives and what human impact VR has as an ‘empathy machine’. The project will explore in-depth areas such as ethics, consumer behaviour, producing new social fields, and memory-image in the context of the popularity of VR in recent years.

Kye hopes to create opportunities for students to get involved in elements of project delivery and assisting with behind the scenes work such as administrative duties. If you are an undergraduate student interested in working in a professional practice capacity with Kye, contact him at

If you are interested in this area of study, see the BSc (Hons) Virtual and Augmented Reality degree at the University of Portsmouth.

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